Choosing between a traditional burial and cremation is the first step in planning a funeral. But if your loved one has not specified their preference or made any funeral provisions, choosing what’s best for them can seem stressful and overwhelming.
Although traditional burial has long been preferred by many Americans, the popularity of cremation has grown exponentially over the past decade. More families are choosing to cremate their loved ones due to the reduced costs of memorial services and burial. In addition, direct cremation allows families to hold their own memorial services and ash-scattering ceremonies.
With that in mind, here’s how to plan a simple cremation for your loved one.
What is a simple cremation?
Direct cremations are often considered the most simple and affordable way to handle the passing of a loved one. Direct cremations allow the family to hold an intimate funeral or ash-scattering ceremony. Direct cremations are also ideal for families who find it difficult to schedule a convenient time or location for a funeral service.
Companies like Legacy Cremation offer comprehensive simple cremation packages to make the process as stress-free as it possibly could be. A good cremation services offers transportation of the deceased to the crematory and assistance with obtaining certified copies of the death certificate.
Choose an urn
Although most simple cremation packages offer an urn, your family may choose their own urn to hold the ashes. Many people choose a cremation urn based on the material or look of the urn.
For instance, while a brass urn offers a traditional look, a wooden box can serve as a warmer keepsake for the remains of your loved one. On the other hand, if you’re planning to keep the urn in your home, you might consider investing in a glass, marble, or ceramic urn.
Plan a viewing
Choosing direct cremation allows families to plan a convenient and intimate viewing for their loved one. Families who choose to plan a viewing have the option of renting a casket prior to cremation. Since spending money on a casket can seem like an unnecessary expense, many funeral homes offer rental caskets for viewings.
Hold an ash-scattering ceremony
If renting a casket is out of your budget, consider planning an ash-scattering ceremony. Some families choose to “trench” ashes, which involves digging a small trench in the ground and placing the ashes in the hole. Families can also place the ashes in a biodegradable urn before burying them in the trench. Consider placing a plant or stones over the trench to honor your loved one.
Another option for scattering ashes, called raking, involves scattering ashes into a garden or in soil and raking the ashes into the earth. Raking can be done anywhere from a home garden to a spot that was meaningful to your loved one. If your family chooses raking, make sure to decide whether one person will be responsible for raking the ashes or if everyone will take turns. In addition, if you choose a public place to scatter the ashes, make sure you’ll be able to legally do so.
Ashes can also be scattered over water. Families can choose to scatter ashes over a river, sea, or the ocean. If you choose to scatter the ashes over water, consider renting a boat and scattering the ashes from the boat. You can also scatter ashes over water by gently throwing the ashes over the water.
Ultimately, planning a simple cremation for your loved one allows your family to hold an intimate ceremony and can help you save time, money, and peace of mind.